Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Wanted All Things to Make Sense

Coming out of my fitness center Sunday morning a little after nine, I discovered my mutterings and mumblings to myself made even less sense than they usually do. Point in fact, I couldn't understand me which in the universe in which I live is very frightening as it's usually just me and SMET (Skippy, My Evil Twin) against an ever enlarging confederacy of dunces.

By ten minutes after ten at the insistence of my wife, we (she, I and our daughter, Michelle) were in the emergency room of William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, Connecticut. I haven't been surrounded by so many caring and competent people since....well, since the last time I needed to visit their emergency room. The poking and prodding my arrival precipitated continued into the late afternoon.

Whether I had a(nother) Transient Ischemic Attack, TIA, or an extreme manifestation of a low blood sugar level combined with dehydration or (fingers crossed) an adverse reaction to resistance training equipment, I may find out in the weeks ahead, or not. Sometimes medicine is more magic than science and some times numbers add up to nothing.

I met John from Colchester, a veteran of an Air Force career that spanned the decades of the Vietnam War to the fall of the Berlin Wall and a dozen CONUS bases in between. His dad had been a B-24 tail-gunner in World War II and his children have served in our armed forces. He was racked by a dry hack that fits Springsteen's description of a graveyard cough and had spent a week in the hospital in January as the doctors and nurses battled to get it under control. When they did he went home and back to his life only to return last Thursday barking like a dog of war and the search for solutions continues.

The parade of passing people willing to help me is impossible to describe or to individually thank. I especially enjoyed the nurse lecturing me Sunday evening about taking better care of myself as 'you're still a young man, Sir' oblivious to the glorious oxymoronic connotations of the construct.   I fully intend to adopt her.

There was also the young man with those giant discs in each earlobe who brought me back on the gurney to my hospital room from a(nother) carotid scan and put me back in my hospital bed and as he exited, offered me a hearty, 'take it easy, dude.' I haven't been one of those in forty years and when I was, the term didn't even exist, so thanks six point two metric tons.

Yeah, I got scared over the last couple of days. Enough to change my ways? Not sure I would make or share that assumption. Be careful with that axe, Eugene-there are too many home fires burning and not enough trees. My first order of business today is to get an appointment with my cardiologist and I can already guess who will want to come along as sometimes she and I, like you and yours, hear different parts of the same sentence differently. Luckily, they, and we, all fit together in the same machine.
-bill kenny        

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